Friday, 8th June 2012
Govt unveils plans for Royal visit
The Earl and Countess of Wessex – Prince Edward and Sophie - are visiting the Rock from Monday to Wednesday of next week as part of Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
In a statement setting out the plans No 6 said that during their stay they will visit many parts of Gibraltar and meet a cross-section of people from across the local community. There will also be several opportunities for the public to give their own welcome to the Royal visitors.
Arriving at lunchtime on Monday, the couple are being met by the Governor Sir Adrian Johns and the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo. The Royal couple will then drive across the runway to RAF Gibraltar to inspect a Tri-Service Guard of Honour.
At around 12.20, after a short ‘walkabout’ in John Mackintosh Square, Their Royal Highnesses will watch excerpts from the Gibraltar Academy of Dance’s production of ‘An Audience with the Queen’ on a specially-erected stage in the Square. They will then walk along Main Street to the Convent, providing another opportunity for people to greet them.
At a public ceremony at 7pm on Monday, the Royal visitors are laying the foundation stone for Gibraltar’s Diamond Jubilee Monument on Line Wall Road where it overlooks the site of the new Jubilee Commonwealth Park. They then move on to a reception and dinner, both hosted by the Government, at which they will be guests of honour.
On Tuesday evening, the couple attend the Queen’s Birthday Parade in Casemates Square followed by the Queen’s Birthday Party at the Convent.
Their programme also includes the opening of a children’s playground at the Moorish Castle Estate and a visit to the Laguna Estate. These have been included at the express wish of the Chief Minister to enable the Royal visitors to meet a real cross-section of Gibraltarians from all walks of life.
In addition the programme provides opportunities for Earl and Countess to meet local people at their other engagements, which include a meeting with local religious leaders and visits to Headquarters British Forces, the Mission for Seafarers, the Port Authority, the Museum and the new law courts. They will also meet those people involved with the Queen’s 1954 visit during a visit to the Upper Rock and unveil a plaque on the Moroccan Fountain in Alameda Gardens to honour Moroccan Workers in Gibraltar.
As well as their joint engagements, the Earl and Countess will follow separate programmes for parts of their visit. The Earl will present Duke of Edinburgh Awards, visit GibDock and name a new boat and present regatta awards at the two rowing clubs. Meanwhile, the Countess’s busy programme includes visits to the Girl Guides’ headquarters and to St Martin’s School.
Their Royal Highnesses will depart Gibraltar from the new airport terminal building, where His Excellency the Governor and the Chief Minister will say their farewells before the Royal visitors board their flight back to London.